Shopify vulnerability reported in PCI DSS scan

Having migrated CultureLabel over to Shopify, I'm now ticking the boxes. Qualy's PCI is reporting a single failure: TCP Source Port Pass Firewall.

Record set for most profitable Sim City

I've been playing Sim City 2013 a bit recently and while irked by some of the bugs, I have enjoyed it. I've worked out how to turn a profit and then scaled that up to claim the top spot on the trading leaderboard. My city 'Plasticity' earns near four times the income of the second place.

Sim City leaderboard for trading

Now if I can just work out how to scale my start-up in the same way....

Simcity (2013) ruined by bugs

I love Simcity. It's like programming, but substantially easier and more rewarding in the short-term. Maxis has produced some great versions of the game over the last 30 years, and Simcity 2013 is almost no exception. Unfortunately it's let down by the bugs.

This screenshot shows a theoretically impossible situation: two oil mines with full storage and two fuel production lines at the oil refinery in dire need of oil. This situation persisted for a Sim month. The two sites were properly connected. All local trade depots were capable of exporting all the affected resources and all were empty. This came about after I upgraded the density of the road outside the depot.

Cygwin-based rsync without destroying permissions

I use rsync to keep my drives backed up under Windows 7 (using Cygwin). Windows permissions were getting messed up, but the solution was to disable ACL within Cygwin. I inserted this line into /etc/fstab.

none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,posix=0,user,noacl 0 0

There was no need to change the rsync command itself:

rsync -avn --stats <source> <destination>

Getting Draytek LAN-to-LAN VPN setup

I've been trying to get two Draytek Vigor 2920Vn routers to connect to one another using LAN-to-LAN VPN. The setup process was largely intuitive, save one detail.

The general VPN process was pretty simple. The two routers are connected all the time, but there is still a sender (dial-out) and a receiver (dial-in). As I use this LAN-to-LAN connection to enable multiple foreign offices to connect back to headquarters, HQ is dial-in and everyone else is dial-out.
Dial-out end

  • Login to Draytek admin interface
  • Select VPN and Remote access

Drupal form validation failure can double up js settings array

I had an interesting Drupal bug. One of my forms has some javascript that turns an file field widget into an image gallery. When the form fails validation, the page reloads with the invalid fields highlighted (excellent Drupal feature). Unfortunately the Drupal.settings array is reloaded (using jQuery.extend) without clearing the previous array. This has the affect of changing an array of strings and ints into an array of arrays.

"Choose something from the URL"

"Change picture"

"Upload your own"


Poser Pro 2014 Content library error messages again

I seem to have endless problems with Poser Pro 2014. I did with Poser 9 previously. I'm using and again I'm getting a startup error in the content library:

FAULT Detected!
[FaultEvent fault=[RPC Fault faultString="HTTP request error" faultCode="Server.Error.Request" faultDetail="Error:[IOErrorEvent type="ioError" bubbles=false cancelable=false eventPhase=2 text="Error #2032"].
URL:"] messageId="F74FC0CF-8F68-0592-DE4E-AEFE08947FED" type="false" bubbles=false cancelable=true eventPhase=2] --- Fault Request Info:

Windows-updated Intel HD4000 driver broke Battlefield 3

My problems with auto-update continued today. Battlefield 3 failed to start up properly. The mouse froze over the in-game menu. This was a proper hardware crash that won't respond to task switching (Alt + Tab) or interrupts (Ctrl + Alt + Delete).

When Windows Updates fix Poser problems

Recently my copy of Poser 9 stopped working. The Library manager refused to open, posting this error message:

FAULT Detected!
[FaultEvent fault=[RPC Fault faultString="HTTP request error" faultCode="Server.Error.Request" faultDetail="Error:[IOErrorEvent type="ioError" bubbles=false cancelable=false eventPhase=2 text="Error #2032"]. URL:"] messageId=978869C0-8C30-E958-7AD1-F63700E8A6F1" type="fault" bubbles=false cancelable=true eventPhase=2] --- Fault Request Info:

Samsung Galaxy S3 freezing and looping black (start-up logo) screen of death

I recently had a problem with a friend's S3. They had rooted their SGS3, which invalidates the warranty and is clearly something I would never do myself (ahem)!

The phone had been worked fine with its rooted OS ( for months, but on the evening of Saturday 4th May, Vodafone pushed an update. That update seemed to conflict with the rooted OS, and when they returned to the phone it was stuck in an endless loop; it would flash the Samsung Galaxy S3 screen (white text on black background) for a few seconds, then go black (reset), then flash it again for a few seconds.

Alex Stanhope is a Technology consultant to the UK Creative Industries and Venture Catalyst. This is my personal website.
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